Mel has composed a video to summarize our offshore experience. We travelled 700 nm in 5 days. Of course, this feels like an accomplishment until Greg points out that we could have flown to Jamaica in our Cessna in two hours. Shut up, Greg!
We are here in Jamaica, resting, repairing, and revising until later in the week, hopefully when the winds and weather look good. We may just go around the windy parts between us and Colombia. We now know we would rather go a bit out of the way (fuel permitting) than beat ourselves up. So we have learned that.
Port Antonio is a complicated place. It is lush and tropical here. It was a thriving tourist hub until 1981, when the cruise ships picked other ports of call in Jamaica. Now you see the sad remains of abandoned bars on Navy island, and remarkably hundreds of people in town competing to give you a personal tour of the Blue Mountains, so they can make some money, to get their daughter an eye operation. A lot of daughters here need eye operations. A lot. The ophthalmologist in town must be very greedy. Mel of course, wanting to help the local people, has tried to come up with a different disease everyone’s daughters can have, so that the hustle is fresher. It must be something one can wait a bit to treat, but tragic if left untreated. Hmmmm. Scoliosis? Meningioma? Herniated disc? Syphilis? Now Mel sees why “eye operation” is in vogue. It’s good.
This is all puzzling as this is the perfect place for cruisers. The Errol Flynn marina was refurbished a few years ago and has everything you need — laundry, restaurant, pool, bar. You can walk to town for groceries and walk to a small but lovely beach. The anchorage is very calm, and the shore water is good. While the hustling is very annoying, crime apparently isn’t so bad and most folks here are friendly, open, and treat obvious tourists with some deference. In fact, we headed out shopping today and ended up with a personal tour of the grocery store by Peter, the highly regarded Port Antonio businessman. So instead of provisioning and leaving right away, we are going to stay a few more days and relax. Because the best part about Jamaica so far is that Marvin is no longer creaking and banging! And the jerk and holey bullas!